We now have been wanting to go to Egypt for some time now so when the chance to get away over the Christmas and New Yr interval arose we knew we would have liked to go there for a break. We joined Expat Discover on their 10 Day Explorer Tour by Egypt taking within the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada.
The explanation we selected Expat Discover was that they had been the most affordable in worth with all the identical sights and ultimately we had been proud of our selection.
Pre-departure they emailed us our itinerary with the non-obligatory excursions and extra prices for entry charges included in order that we may finances correctly. In addition to following up with our pre-trip questions concerning flights, insurance coverage and uhealth and security recommendation.
From the beginning they had been very skilled. Touchdown in Cairo we had been personally greeted the day earlier than our tour and transported to our Metropolis centre resort. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane adjustments, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, individuals and autos in every single place.
El Tonsy Lodge is your base on your arrival and final evening. Fortunately we didn’t count on a lot as our door didn’t lock which was a bit dodgy and the rooms had been freezing chilly with a damaged heater and just one blanket. You wouldn’t assume you would wish warmth in Egypt but it surely was the center of winter and it was chilly at evening. No complaints with the placement although as we may see the Pyramids within the distance and had been solely 5 minutes stroll from the Nile and quarter-hour to Tahir Sq. (completely protected by the way in which). Plus they’ve a bit of bar/restaurant with low-cost meals and free Wi-Fi. Simply purchase your snacks and water from the grocery store throughout the highway and you’re going to get on high-quality.
It’s fairly laborious to interrupt down an entire journey into one submit however right here goes:
Your tour begins with one of the best in my view by touring some sights of Cairo. The steeply angled Step Pyramid, mind-blowing Pyramids of Giza and the smaller than anticipated Sphinx. This present day was undoubtedly the spotlight.
That evening is spent aboard the prepare for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I extremely suggest the Sleeper prepare for an additional £50 per particular person. Others that caught the usual prepare froze their butts off whereas we had a toasty sleep with a served dinner and breakfast. Sadly Expat Discover by no means instructed us concerning the offered meals so we ate earlier than we received on-board however what we may slot in was scrumptious.
The tour splits in Aswan as one group embarks on a River Cruise aboard a 5 star ship whereas the others spend time in accommodations and on a Felucca. No shock that we went with the cheaper possibility aboard the Felucca so the subsequent few days are from that viewpoint.
The afternoon is yours at Sara Lodge on the banks above the Nile. We lapped up the attractive rays of the solar and managed to show our pasty white our bodies a extra becoming barely white shade. The Lodge was nice till the bathroom next-door erupted sending a river of smelly waste throughout our bed room ground (throw your rest room paper within the bin not the john)! Fortunately we woke in time to rescue our baggage from the watery mess! Not the fault of Expat Discover and we didn’t blame the Lodge both as shit occurs.
Your day begins by visiting the monstrous Excessive Dam for 10 minutes (pretty boring) and a drive previous the Unfinished Obelisk. Whereas the spotlight is certainly the Philae Temple. When the sunsets throughout the Nile reflecting off the stonework it actually is sort of magical.
The night ended with an non-obligatory dinner in a standard Nubian households home. The meals was delicious and also you higher deliver your singing and dancing footwear.
The next day and evening is spent stress-free aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for a number of hours. Sleeping not more than 8 individuals you may be comfortable if you happen to deliver your personal sleeping bag like us. The remainder of our crew had been jealous because it did get fairly chilly within the night nevertheless blankets had been offered.
With scrumptious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat you’ll not be dissatisfied with the meals both.
The day ends with a bonfire on the Nile shoreline as you sing and dance with the loopy enjoyable Nubian crews. This was undoubtedly one of many highlights of the complete journey for us.
Journey Tip: Don’t be postpone by doing all of your “enterprise” amongst the reeds of the Nile. Simply benefit from the view and bear in mind to deliver your personal rest room paper (which you want in every single place in Egypt anyway).
By all accounts, from the opposite tour members, the River Cruise is simply as nice with 3 nights on-board in comfy lodging, a pool and buffets morning, midday and evening.
Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent solution to begin a brand new day. Sadly there may be little time for rest earlier than you might be off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. I have to say, all the transportation was greater than enough with bathrooms on the buses and room sufficient for everybody. It’s fortunate since you do spend nearly all of the time being pushed round.
The Lotus Lodge in Luxor was in all probability the choose of all of them. Located on the Nile financial institution with a swimming pool and engaging buffet breakfast.
Another day, another busy schedule. Dashing to beat the crowds on the Valley of the Kings it’s one other 8am begin. You might be solely allowed to go to three tombs and we suggest the guides picks which had been Ramses II, IV and IX.
Journey Tip: You might be NOT allowed to take your digital camera with you off the bus. Please don’t destroy it for everybody by taking photographs as you may be charged by safety when caught.
We additionally squeezed within the crowded rock carved Hatshepsut Temple however solely drove previous Luxor Temple as we ran out of time as it’s worthwhile to drive 6 hours to achieve Hurghada that evening.
Day Seven and Eight
The subsequent two days on the Crimson Sea are yours to do no matter you want so use them correctly. We joined most of our group for a spot of snorkelling and diving. The dive and the workers had been nice however the entire day appeared a bit of rushed which was a disgrace. Hold an eye fixed out for our submit on our diving expertise in Hurghada.
So good with the ability to calm down on a seashore and skim a e-book after such a busy schedule. It’s laborious to depart and the 6 – 8 hour bus journey again to Cairo is hard.
Journey Tip: In the event you plan to do the tour over New Years Eve then you’ll have to depart Hurghada half a day early which sucked because it meant celebrating the New Yr on the Lodge in Cairo. Little bit of a let down however when hasn’t New Years Eve been!
Your closing day of sightseeing is spent round Cairo. Our favorite a part of the day was undoubtedly the Cairo Museum with a superb tour information. It matches completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after having discovered about it during the last 8 days.
By the point we hit the previous space of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church we had been spent on historical past however our information made a very good effort at protecting us entertained.
The final group exercise is free time for an hour or so on the Khan El Khalili souk markets the place the touts attempt to prise your money from you for the final time from each nook and cranny.
With the tour over it’s time to go house. Our flight was late the next evening so we walked across the metropolis and Souks on our personal for the day. Expat Discover offers transport again to the airport which was nice.
The journey was superior however we predict it’s vital to notice the little issues that would make an enormous distinction to the general expertise:
- It felt like we had been all the time hungry. Perhaps it’s simply Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat on a regular basis but it surely critically felt like we had been continuously ravenous with lunches being served often after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It could be the Egyptian solution to eat at these instances however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase a lot of snacks for the highway that are very low-cost at supermarkets.
- There was typically a scarcity of path in what appeared to be taking place. Every part is completed on Egyptian time so be affected person.
- We had been typically delayed or not on time with little to no steerage as to how lengthy it could take to get from place to position. Somewhat data goes an extended was as then we will plan forward.
- Extra free time can be nice to discover locations by yourself slightly than have our fingers held in every single place.
As we mentioned above, the journey was superb and the little optimistic issues far outweighed the negatives which helped make it a memorable journey.
- Pre-departure info and care was extraordinarily good.
- The tour was distinctive worth for cash and it was the most affordable tour we may discover although we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
- The guides had been extraordinarily educated and by no means didn’t reply any questions we had. The insights into the day by day lives of the individuals round us was a pleasant break from all of the historical past. Additionally they ensured you by no means felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
- The Felucca journey was higher than anticipated and general so was the lodging and transport choices.
All in all we extremely suggest you e-book with Expat Discover if you’re contemplating a visit by Egypt.
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Disclaimer: Expat Discover offered us with a reduction for our 10 day tour of Egypt nevertheless as all the time our ideas are all the time our personal.